The things people say

27 Mar

Hmm. Have been wanting to post this for a while. But I had to get over feeling incandescently angry about it first. Because I don’t blame the person for saying it, really. A little while ago, I met someone who I hadn’t seen for ages. They’d not heard about Rosie, so had to suffer the embarrassment of asking after her and me telling them what had happened. All well and good. It happens. But then they said – and I’m sure this was just because they were feeling awkward and uncomfortable – ‘well, time is a great healer. I’m sure you’ll get over it.’

And I have felt really angry about it ever since. Not all the time. I managed to reach a stage where when I was driving, I could occasionally allow myself to remember and survey what had been said from several different angles. And then I decided I was angry partly because not only will we never get over it, because things can’t go back as they were but neither do I want us to get over it. Accomodate it, yes. Be sad but not brood over it, yes. Be happy and do things, yes. But not get over it. Because that would be like forgetting.

So, never, ever tell someone they’ll get over it.

Now I’ve got that off my chest, finally, two other things. The first is that Cal is definitely having an off season trampolining wise. He didn’t fall over. But he did forget one of his jumps in the first round – he NEVER does that. And then he got really giggly on the second round, so his arms and legs were all over the place. He landed on one foot instead of two, and generally looked like he was on a bouncy castle. Hey ho.

And last of all, do bloodometer donations only count if they are made by new donors and people returning after a long gap? Or can we count regular donations too? Or do we set up another count?

Jo

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14 Responses to “The things people say”

  1. DonnyFan March 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

    I’m sure it was just a very poor choice of words in response to hearing something very sad. I’ve never heard of anybody else use that phrase ”you’ll get over it” in similar circumstances.

    I expect they were kicking themselves when they realised what they’d said.

    x

  2. jilltheboss March 27, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    We wil none of us “get over” Rosie. She was a very special person. She remains part of your family and you can draw strength from thinking of her .
    On tv news at the moment, they’re talking about the rioters being the result of bad parenting in “forgotten families.” Rosie is a shining example of the strength of a your family.
    The poor woman you’re angry with has probably not yet lost somebody so near to her. She’ll learn!

  3. Andrea Clarke March 27, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

    I’m so with you Jo. I haven’t lost an amazing daughter so cannot know what you are feeling. But i have had the future i’d hoped for snatched away, and am having to come to terms with the alternate (i know you know what i mean), and i have often had to deal with thoughtless words and platitudes, and i also get angry.

    it doesn’t help that on the logical level that you know (or hope) that it was awkwardness, it still makes you mad. sometimes i come back at people (i fear i am not as patient as you) and explain that no its not going to be OK, it’s going to get worse – and when they look embarrassed i no longer feel guilty, because if they see my anger then maybe it’ll make them think twice before saying stupid things to other people. (I hope you didn’t mind me sharing that.)

    shame that Cal seems to be a bit off balance at the mo. i have huge respect for him getting on the trampoline in the first place.

    i think you should count regular donations too.

    xx

  4. ro March 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm #

    I was once taught by a very wonderful paediatric oncology and palliative care nurse, who was teaching us medical students about important stuff. I remember he said that no one ever gets over the death of their child, they just learn to live differently. It’s not something anyone ever can “get over”.
    I imagine this person either meant time is a healer, I hope the pain will lessen in time and you will feel a bit better etc, but it came out horribly wrong and they are very embarassed (if they even realise what they said) or they are just alarmingly out of touch with what’s real and how things really are.
    I hope you never ever feel like you have to, or are supposed to, get over it. Of course you’ll never forget, could that even ever be possible? I couldn’t imagine it.

    Anyway, I hope your learning to live differently goes as well and as peacefully as it possibly can. I guess it lasts forever – we never stop learning.

  5. Amy March 27, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    I think this has made me as mad as when I heard about the stupid person in the printing shop! I guess the only explanation is that they’ve never experienced it, otherwise they would know full well that you don’t just ‘get over it.’
    I say – count everybody! And on that note – people under 21 have to reach a certain weight before they can give blood and I have finally reached it so I will hopefully be helping soon! Yay for getting fatter!
    xxx

  6. Georgina March 28, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    When our son/ brother died in 1999 I was amazed at what people said but what was worse was the people who you thought were really good friends did not talk to you and you could see them actively avoiding you! I had a lecturer at a University tell me that at least I had other children so it was not so bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O.M.G. that was a so called highly educated person. I am afraid in my experience the English in particular are no good when someone dies – they have very little idea what to say. In my experience NOTHING anyone can say makes you feel better but a hug – well that for me says more than words can.

    Two of the lessons I learnt after my son died was to always tell people I love them and to live each day and not keep ‘looking forward’ to an event. We should value what we have now – we do not know that we will have tomorrow.

    And surely ALL blood donations count??????????? And that must be my daughter Amy who wrote the above about getting heavier to be able to donate.

    Big hug to you all – Georgina xxxxxx

  7. Jill (beckys aunty) March 28, 2012 at 9:57 am #

    Funny me and my niece Chloe Gough were on the phone today and we got talking about Rosie and saying how much she had done that has has a good effect on others through her blog and such, and also about how much Becky misses her, Thinking of you as a family often

    Jill

  8. Sue H March 28, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Jo, have you seen this book? It was featured on Ch4 news, i remember a funny/sad sequence about people’s odd reactions, part of which is on one of the pictures at the bottom.

    http://www.myriadeditions.com/Billy

    People, i think, sometimes try too hard to say something to ‘make it better’ rather than just listening. Very British.

  9. Maz March 28, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    I shouldnt take it to heart. People get so tongue tied and flustered when put on the spot about situations that most of us have no idea how to deal with it and simply feel they have to say something and will probably be kicking themselves for their crassness now. Im sure they probably mean that time will allow you to deal with it better (although how i dont know) or something and they were probably just trying to say the right thing and made a complete stuff up of it.

    Georgina, yes know the one about people avoiding people who are ill or bereaved. Its really upset me how some people have reacted towards me but then some people have gone out of their way to be supportive. I suppose its the old saying you find out who your friends are…..

    Try not to think too much about it Jo, put it down to everyone has a really crap day and you got that person on theirs!

  10. Katie March 28, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Can we count all of them Jo? Because I bet that the regular donors this time thought of Rosie and TKOE while they were donating, just like I did 🙂

    We’ll never “get over it” and we’ll certainly never forget Rose. God, imagine how unimpressed she would be with us if we even tried to forget her, we’d definately get one of those Rosie stares beaming down at us from where ever she is!

    I’m going to get a picture at the top of the highest mountain with my TKOE before the snow melts. I’d lost my camera when I went up the first time, but Mum sent me a new one 🙂

    See you in April hopefully!
    lots of love to you alll xoxo

  11. Catherine March 28, 2012 at 9:36 pm #

    People do say the strangest things sometimes don’t they. I had a miscarriage at the beginning of this year, and as well as the lovely sympathetic reactions I’ve had a range of reactions from refusing to mention it directly to ‘it obviously just wasn’t meant to be’ and ‘it’ll happen for you when the time is right’ and other strange platitudes, even to ‘at least you can go to the Olympics now’ (we managed to get tickets to a couple of events, but I would have been due early August) – this last was a mixture of black humour and ‘looking on the bright side’ and not meant as crassly as it came across, but still, really?! I’ve had to bite my tongue a few times and tell myself people mean well and don’t realise how ridiculous they sound.

    Sometimes people really don’t know what to say and get complete brainfreeze and end up saying something stupid; sometimes people think they need to be positive and say something to make you feel better, rather than just letting you feel whatever you feel. I hope he said what he did with best of intentions and just didn’t think it through, although that doesn’t make it any easier to hear. Of course you won’t ‘get over it’, but you’ll learn to live alongside it in the best way possible, and rest assured there are lots of people who will never forget Rosie.

    Sending warm wishes, take care xx

  12. micthemini March 29, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    What all those wise people say ^^^^
    I don’t think I can add anything more.
    Life goes on, but the hurts and the hole of the person gone stays forever.
    As for the blood donations, if people are donating with Rosie in mind then surely it counts.

  13. celia butler March 29, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    I think the bottom line is that people generally find it very difficult to know how to deal with bereavement, even more so when there are tragic circumstances. And then they either say nothing (including active avoidance) or they resort to platitudes, Which can, as in this case, be exactly the wrong thing to say and only demonstrates that the person in question has never suffered a significant loss.
    What you describe is exactly right. You won’t get over losing Rosie, you’ll live with it. Time eventually takes off some of the raw edges, and being angry and speaking out is all part of that process.
    Bad luck Cal, but all the best athletes have their bad patches. Hope he hasn’t lost too much confidence and gets back on track soon.
    And in my opinion any blood donation made by anyone associated with TKOE should count, because it will be made with Rosie particularly in mind.
    Love to you all. x

  14. anita connahs mam March 29, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

    Its about the taking part, go Cal…… You don’t get over it, you learn to live with it….but what is it???? The it is sadness, emptyness, that feeling that is situated in your chest……it fades and then comes the love that gives you comfort because people will talk about Rosie with ease and tell you about the funny things, the oh so Rosie things, family will chat and say if Rosie were here she would ……….. That’s what keeps our loved ones with us……thinking of you all x

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